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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway. New.

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U.s. 8, Michael 6, Us 5, Obama 4, America 4, Obama Administration 3, Liberty Medical 3, Juan 3, Libya 3, Steve Brown 2, Francis Townsend 2, Bush 2, Dick Butkus 2, Bailey 2, Nancy Pelosi 2, Geico 2, United States 2, Lincoln Mercury 2, Fox News 2, Steny Hoyer 2,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway. New.  

    August 21, 2009
    6:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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unmoveable? something to think about this weekend. we will see you monday. from new york, good night. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- next the bret: and of the government's effort to stimulate the auto business is just about over. we will review the final weekend of cash for clunkers and talk to dealers. the number two democrat says government-run health insurance might be a loser. the house speaker just said it is a necessity. major democratic losses predicted next year and we look at one blue dog democrat being dogged by health care skeptics. we will take you to a country where the h1n1 flu is raging in taking lives. all of that, plus the all-star panel and the fried a lightning round, right here, right now. -- and the friday lightning round, right here, right now. we begin "special report" with a
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fox news alert. breaking news from the white house on a friday afternoon in august concerning the federal deficit. staggering numbers that could further affect the health care reform debate. major garrett joins us live with details. good evening. >> the question is, can you slide $2 trillion under the door? it appears the president and his administration are trying to. a couple of moments ago, the office of management and budget confirmed that a new budget projection for the obama white house for the federal deficit will rise from $7 trillion up to $9 trillion. why? the recession is deeper than thought and will probably last longer or the economic recovery after it will be so shallow so as to not bring revenues back as originally projected. as to health care, the president does not lead chaos behind, but some degree of uncertainty.
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president obama left for a weeklong family vacation in martha's vineyard with his poll numbers declining and top democrats clashing of the future of the futureoption, a government-financed portion to private insurance market. the number two house democrats steny hoyer told reporters that the party might have to abandon the public option. >> i am for it, but i am also for passing a bill. the public auction is a necessary, useful, and very important aspect of this. we will have to see. there were many other important aspects of the bill. >> yesterday, nancy pelosi called the public option a legislative must. >> i cannot pass a bill in the house without the public option. >> president obama met with tom dashiell, his former picked to lead the department of health and human services. >> we were concerned that the ongoing health reform debate is beginning to show signs of a
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tractor on the public plan issue. we have come too far and gained too much momentum for our efforts to fail over this agreement on one single issue. >> yesterday, the president tried to sound definitive on this issue. >> there has been a lot of confusion about this. let me clarify. i think the public option is important. i wanted to be clear. it is just one option. >> polls show a decline in the health care plan. a new abc news poll suggests it has begun to take a toll on his presidency. 50 percent of americans now disapprove of his handling of health care. the 46% approved in mid-june. it represents unapproved while 39% disapproved. typify% now believe the country is on the wrong track. that is up from mid-april. 49% think the president will make the right decisions. on the rising wrong track number, the white house said it
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is still better than before the president took office. >> what was that number in november of last year? the abc news poll in mid- december put that number at 82, nearly 30 points higher than now. gibbs found another silver lining. >> 57% is a fairly healthy number for president's approval rating. >> the white house conducted a conference call yesterday with sympathetic democratic supporters who do not work here at the white house, telling them when the president gets back from his vacation, they will refrain the mesh it -- reframe the message. polling numbers are down. the president needs a bit of a brick. bret: i want to ask about something the president said yesterday at the dnc headquarters. i'm hoping you can explain what it means. listen. >> there is something about
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august going into september where everybody in washington gets all weeweed up. bret: what does that mean? >> he said it is probably bedwetting. the president was talking about sarah palin being coupled with john mccain, many people thought the president had lost his mojo. people were bedwetting then. the implication was, maybe somebody here in town, or many others, are getting that way now. i am not among them. bret: major garrett live on the north lawn. if you plan on car shopping this week and, you can expect plenty of company. the government's cash for clunkers program is supposed to end monday. anxious buyers do not want to leave money on the table.
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carl cameron reports some aspects of the program have worked better than others. good evening. >> it is friday night on the dealership floor and it is busy as the hits keep coming. 489,000 cars have been traded in for new fuel-efficient cars. >> that is not that. >> the $3 billion cash for clunkers program is one of the most successful stimulus programs ever according to the obama administration. >> the president was correct. the program has been successful. >> the transportation department is shutting it down monday night. the clock is ticking. >> i cannot wait. i'm excited about it. i'm also excited to not be contributing to the pollution. >> over five short weeks, the program helped dealerships come alive and prompted carmakers to rehire thousands of workers. there have been major glitches. the government web page for deal approvals has crashed all month.
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it was offline repeatedly today, slowing sales and frustrating dealers. dealers face huge delays getting reimbursed for the promised rebates of up to 40 but hundred dollars. coupled with the program and the monday night, that has spurred a national rush. >> i was opposed to going to the beach at 12:00. i said, i have to make this happen today or it will not happen. you are talking about $4,500. >> $195 million in rebates have been reimbursed nationwide. some dealers have with the program for lack of timely reimbursement. over $5.5 million in rebates have been paid and has been reimbursed more than -- less than $25,000. >> when you have that cash flow, it is pending and you have no idea for how long the money will be tied up. >> general motors, which has
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received $63 billion in taxpayer tarpon bailout money, is advancing dealers money because the government reimbursement is slow. there are the unintended domestic verses import consequences. 82% of incoming cars are detroit-built domestic vehicles. 77% of those being sold are imports, turning a dwindling number of american car owners and to the growing ranks of foreign car drivers. the white house says the program is done on monday night, but maybe not. democratic aides say it is quite likely that lawmakers will look at the final report and on the program and then could decide to restart it in the future. if it is unlikely, it is because it would only add martech care subsidies to the exploding federal deficit. bret: the u-turn in a clunker -- did you turn in a clunker? >> there is not a table or
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chair is here where someone is not cutting a deal. bret: thanks. the unemployment rate fell in 17 states and the district of columbia last month. the biggest drop was in vermont, from 7.3% down to 6.8%. michigan had the top jobless mark of 50.2% in june. 21 states added jobs in july compared to 10 from previous months. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke says the economic activity in the u.s. at the round of world appears to be leveling out. prospects for a return to growth appear good. he made those comments at an annual conference in wyoming. sales of existing homes rose 7.2% in july, the fourth straight monthly increase of the highest level of sales in two years. stocks soared today. the dow jumped 156. the s&p 500 gained 19. the nasdaq picked up 31 2/3. president obama and philadelphia as archbishop each implied the
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other is lying about health care reform. who is right? we report, you decide. is tom ridge telling the truth about politics and terrorism? úgsw
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bret: if tom ridge was hoping to generate buzz about his upcoming book, mission accomplished. the publisher released a summary saying he was pressured to change the terror threat level for political purposes, a change that is drawing enthusiastic rebuttals. mike emanuel has the story. >> as osama bin laden warned in a videotape that blood would run through the streets of america, tom ridge claims in a new book that he was pressured to raise the color-code threat level on the eve of the 2004 election, but he refused.
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he wrote, "there is absolutely no support for that position within our department. i wondered, is this about security or politics?" this was perceived as a move that would help then-president bush. francis townsend flatly deny that. >> not only do not think it played politics, it was never discussed. >> for the region >> there was concern that if intelligent supported raising the threat -- the threat level, it might be to the detriment of president bush because people might perceive it being political. >> rich's language does not appear definitive. the allegations in clear, that donald rahm spelled -- rumsfeld wanted to use the color-coded threats system for political gain. in reference to the advice to
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americans to cover their homes in saran wrap secured by duct tape in the event of a biochemical attack, former justice department official said -- rich himself contradicts his own claim that he had been pressured, riding -- apparently, the white house did not call. elsewhere, he wrote that he was never directed to raise the tariff threat level "no matter how many analysts, pundits, or critics say so." bret: president obama today called the recession -- called the release of the pan am 103 bummer highly objectionable. his press secretary of -- described video of his welcome as offensive to those who lost loved ones on the flight, which was blown out of the sky over
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lockerbie, scotland, in 1988. he was freed because he has terminal prostate cancer. libyan authorities are keeping him out of sight to avoid hurting what was their steadily improving relationship with the u.s. the justice department is looking into whether military defense lawyers illegally give suspected terrorists information about alleged cia interrogators. national security correspondent jennifer griffin report. >> shortly after a 9/11 planner was snapped, he ended up in a secret cia detention facility. his court was also arrested lee pakistan and was taken to receive a prison house that this airport in poland. the man who interrogated them at that time as a retired cia operative. his picture we have decided not to wear. we have learned he is the subject of some of the 45
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photographs that military defense attorneys allegedly showed it to accuse the al qaeda leaders at guantanamo bay in an effort to determine if he had engaged in harsh interrogation techniques. the justice department is now investigating whether three military defense attorneys broke the law by showing those photos, thus exposing the identity of covert cia operatives. martina's's identity was first revealed by "the new york times" despite strong protests. the american civil liberties union argued this inquiry is designed to divert public attention from allegations the cia torture detainees. martinez was named again last
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week in the article that also showed photos of others whom the cia reportedly hired to carry out interrogation. martinez was technically not a covert agent when his name was published. the aclu used the information and took photos of him outside his house, which were then shown to the detainees. the question is, were any laws broken? at the pentagon, jennifer griffin. bret: if you think it is easy to get a piece of stimulus money, we will show you what hoops you have to jump through. you might think people in the u.s. are going overboard about the h1n1 flu. see what they are doing in argentina. when people say, "hey mike, why ford? why now? you know what i do? i introduce them to the most fuel-efficient midsize sedans... and suvs in america. i don't know if you've heard, but this whole fuel-efficiency thing... kind of a big deal. anyway, ford and lincoln mercury have you covered.
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in fact, they're your cash for clunkers specialists. they'll recycle your ride and get you a rebate of up to $4,500. how's that for going green? why ford? why now? why not? visit your ford or lincoln mercury dealer. tell 'em mike sent you. if you think it would help. wó woman: (thinking) so, i stick this bounce bar inside my dryer and for about four months, it'll freshen my clothes automatically? wow, let's see you in action. hmm, i wish all my chores took care of themselves automatically.
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bret: the two leading candidates in the afghan presidential
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election are each claiming they have the most votes. in combat karzai and the opposable say they received more than half the votes. preliminary results are not expected for several days. president obama says the u.s. will continue to work with afghanistan in order to bring peace to that country. >> to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda and their allies. that goal will be achieved and our troops will be able to come home as that can continue to strengthen their own capacity and take responsibility for their own future. bret: in iraq, lawmakers are calling for an emergency parliament session following the mass bombings that left at least 101 people dead. another bombing of a popular back debt market this morning killed two and wounded 20. in russia, prime minister vladimir putin visited the
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siberian power plant where an accident killed 47 workers with 28 still missing. he urged the plant owner to compensate the families of the dead and the missing and promised matching federal funds. in argentina, concern over the h1n1 viruses virtually paralyzing some aspects of the country. steve harrigan shows us what things are like. >> to avoid a possible second wave of h1n1, argentina is taking aggressive measures. all schools have been shut down across the nation for two weeks. the fear of possible infection continues to cripple businesses. it might take two to tango, but it keeps paying -- but it takes paying customers to keep a dance hall afloat. that is something argentina does not have in a growing pandemic. with tens of thousands of infections this winter,
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argentina is about to pass the u.s. as the country with the most deaths from the virus. the figure doubled in the past month to more than 300. u.s. officials are trying to answer to questions. as the buyer is getting more contagious? is it getting more deadly? >> we do a lot of work following the virus. is it changing? is it mutating? is it more virulence and severe? is it more transmissible? we work with our international partners to keep tabs on the changes the virus is undergoing. >> is the battle fought -- it is a battle fought with gloves and masks against an enemy that change shape -- the changes shape and feeds on fear. small businesses here estimate losses so far from the flu at more than $1 billion. ticket sales for theaters are up -- are off 80%. tourism has been cut in half. u.s. medical officials are here,
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studying whether or not what the government has done is working in preparation of a possible wave of infections back home this fall. steve harrigan, fox news. bret: republicans and democrats are going postal over official mailings and the disagreement between the president and a prominent bishop over health care reform and abortion is next. (joe) my meter absolutely adapts to me and my lifestyle. i'm joe james, and being outside of the box is my simple win. (announcer) now available in five vibrant colors.
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bret: now, fresh pickings from
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the political grapevine. president obama told the national council of churches that people who say abortion funding will be in legislation are bearing false witness and that "these are all fabrications that have been put out there to discourage people from meeting what i consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation." won high church official says the president is the one doing the fabricating. the philadelphia archbishop wrote a letter to the house of representatives saying, "some will claim that federal funds do not support abortion under the house bill. this is an illusion. a federal funds will subsidize the operating budget and provider network that expand access to abortions." the president said that there are no plans to revoke the existing prohibitions on using taxpayer dollars for abortions. republicans are accusing democrats of playing politics with the mail.
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democrats on the house commission have block republicans from using political terms such as "cat and tax" when describing climate change led to -- "cap and tax" when describing climate change. one republican even found that the exact partisan line which the commission rejected for a gop mailing had been approved three years earlier for nancy pelosi. the commission staffer explained that the pelosi newsletter back then had been approved in error and the gop mailings were denied because they did not comply with the longstanding rules. a texas republican calls it censorship. bret: finally, it seems hillary clinton cannot catch a break. earlier this month, it appeared she was being upstaged by her husband, former president bill clinton, as he took the spotlight traveling to north
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korea and returning with two american journalists. analysts guessed that that, plus a tiresome travel schedule, contributed to secretary clinton becoming visibly irritated when a university student at a town hall of and asked what her husband thought of an international financial matter. it seems another bill is causing problems and stealing part of her vacation. the former president and secretary of state traveled to berlin of for a getaway and now hurricane bill is pelting the island with heavy winds and rains that have forced the clintons to cut their vacation short. charlie cook has a chilling forecast for democrats. he says in a special update to his newsletter that democrats could lose more than 20 seats in next year's congressional elections. he writes -- bret: the health care reform
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debate is factoring in to many reelection bids and one ohio congressman is feeling the heat from constituents. steve brown reports on the effort to make an impression. >> summer is winding down. time for one more ride at the fair. one more shot at winning a blue dog. one more signature and that the blue dog. >> we're getting a petition. >> two congressmen helped broker the deal on the controversial 1000-page house reform bill. >> i was so oppressed with the intellectual curiosity. >> this is an american citizen issue. >> they will not meet with us. >> there is a large
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congressional district geographically. >> driving the 16 counties from and to and take four hours. a lot of the district as rural. space has been dialing it, holding a telephone town hall. >> we did one last night at 7800 people were on the phone, asking questions, listening to my responses, not screaming. >> during the web cast thursday with a newspaper, he said he is steering clear of large, temper- prone public forums. >> that is not my style. if that is what you want from me, you are not going to get it. >> that is not satisfactory to some constituents. this group showed up to again ask him for a town hall. instead, he spoke with them at length on how health care reform is necessary so long as the price is right. >> we do not know how we will pay for this bill. >> at a fund-raiser wednesday,
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protesters at it this and invited contributors. >> this was announced to many people. >> space's remote approach will likely continue. he won reelection to this district by a whopping 20 percentage point. those leery of government health care reform are ready to take game on their man in congress. >> we put him in the job and we are the ones who can taken out. >> steve brown, fox news. bret: one thing all government programs have in common is paperwork. lots of it. to tell you how big a burden that can be as only he can, here is james rosen. >> cash for clunkers, a successful program with tons of paper work. we came to a dealership to check it out. let's go do some paperwork.
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come on. i mean, come on. this is a large stack of paper. >> this right here is a disposal certification form. >> there are procedures on how to disable the car. >> we had one rejected. >> the automobile business is a tough business. >> it is a tough business. >> executives say each car treated in lancelets more than two dozen forms on them to fill out. >> how do you get through your days with the sheer boredom? ♪ >> hey. >> let's go. they're waiting for you. >> this is where automobiles go to die.
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everything must go. come on down. we are overloaded. every car has somebody's name on it. everybody falls in love some time. that is amore. the first step is getting the crucial for sloan. they get to that fight in place, the small business administration. bridget is the director of the washington metropolitan area office. >> you do not allow more people work than you would for any conventional loan. 4506t is a document or spine. how much money do you have on hand? >> this is a statement of personal history. do i have to talk about my high school prom? >> we hope you do not. it is a loan of up to $35,000 to help small businesses.
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>> ok. goldilocks, this is poppa bear. i get to sit behind the desk and your the small-business owner. i have prepared a series of paperwork forms for you to fill out. >> i had better get started. >> i think so. bret: new budget projection numbers might add more problems to the president as he tries to push health-care reform. . ♪ who knew the store would go and check my credit score ♪ ♪ now all they let me have is this dinosaur ♪ ♪ hello hello hello can anybody hear me? ♪ ♪ i know i know i know i shoulda gone to ♪ ♪ free credit report dot com! ♪ that's where i shoulda gone! coulda got my knowledge on! ♪ ♪ vo: free credit score and report with enrollment in triple advantage.
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$7 trillion, and now the new estimate is $9 trillion. the news coming late in the afternoon, and, of course, coming as the administration and the president continue to push health-care reform, and the cost of that factoring in a senior writer for "the weekly standard," syndicated columnist charles krauthammer, and juan williams join us. this one was a big one. it is tough to get your arms around $2 trillion more. it is 2000 billion more. >> that is why the word trillion ought to be abolished. it does not have the gravid tass, the enormity, of the numbers of zeros that underlie it -- it does not have the grappa tossed -- gravitas. they are estimating that the annual deficit will be $900
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million, every year. that is unsustainable. that will destroy the dollar, and the only way that kind of debt is paid off is not in taxes. it is in inflation, and everyone will see it coming. this is a crisis in and of itself, and one of the reasons health care is in trouble -- there are a lot of reasons, but americans understand that when you are looking at deficits which are for other causes, and adding $1 trillion or $1.60 trillion, as the cbo has estimated, and adding that onto it gratuitously is insane. if there are any increases in taxes that you're going to use within health care, those increases in taxes ought to be to the existing debt, which will destroy the economy. bret: juan, we talked about the health care debate and other debatees, but also for buyers
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of u.s. debt, this creates a lot of anxiety. >> yes, the chinese. it puts pressure on the u.s. economy, and, of course, the economy has not been producing. revenues have not been coming in at rates that were predicted by the white house. this also comes as a smack in the face to the white house where the press was pointing out earlier this week that they thought the deficit was going to be swallowed. why? because some of the money that they used for bank recovery effort is no longer deemed to be necessary, he said they are not going to have to use that money, and they thought that was good news, and this brought them back on their heels, and it brought them back -- this rocks them back on their heels, and it rocks them back on their heels in a big way. once you start to engage inflation, as charles was saying, then you put the federal reserve in the position
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of having to take steps to put the brakes on the economy, and that could plunge us back down into another recession. i think, overall, we have been having a conversation about the economy even though we are labeling it as a conversation about health care, and americans are anxious about what could be coming. bret: and, steve, we look at the recent polls, and the deficit has increased as far as a concern for americans across the country. how big of a deal is this? >> they really, really big deal. this should be the moral a to health care. this should end the debate to health care, as far as i am concerned. you can talk about dealing with insurance, tinkering with it -- the public option. this should end it. is it really should read this is a big enough deal, and i think you have the 80 blue dogs who have been nervous about the public option now going back to
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their constituents and having to explain this kind of additional spending, as charles point out, $1.60 trillion more, certainly, and in the face of this kind of news, i think it is a huge problem, but i think this does bring up taxes. i think we are going to talk about three issues in the fall. guantánamo, afghanistan, and health care, and i think we will soon see a much broader and more vigorous discussion about taxes, about how you can tax americans and generate revenues without violating his campaign promises, he and i do not think he can do it. bret: they were talking about not being able to get a health- care plan out of the house without the public option, and today, steny hoyer said in a conference call that the public option may have to go in order to get the bill passed. this is the number one and number two democrat in the house of representatives. >> this is a ritual dance.
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the democrats understand if they kill the public option openly and completely, they will make less needless trouble right now. all of the intimations that it is preferred, that it is important, that we want to keep it is a way to douse the rebellion on the left, but in the end, they all understand you can pass it without a public option, because in the end, the bluff on the left to vote against is only a bluff. they are not going to destroy the health-care reform and the president at the same time over that one issue. the issue is dead, but they cannot admit it. >> i agree that they cannot destroy the health-care option, because, essentially, that is to destroy the obama presidency. coming from david axelrod and rahm emanuel and others, you guys have to understand. you are tied into this president, and to distance yourself is suicidal.
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i think there are many americans that agree we have to reform health care, and i disagree that it is dead, but it is so anxiety provoking that people are not going to listen. this month of august has been deadly to him. bret: up next, the release of a terrorist hyping a book released, and a person who is not going to be leased any time soon -- not going to be released any time soon.
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naing onon ud r. weotototatatininci on us cars for everybody
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>> the images that we saw in libya yesterday were outrageous and disgusting. >> perhaps, american officials protesting now.
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what i have learned, when the united states wants something, it does not happen, especially with the united kingdom. do not insult my intelligence. you have allowed this to take place. bret: the only man charged with the killing of pan am flight 108 was released from a scottish prison. he was welcomed back home in libya, as we saw there, at the tripoli airport, and we saw reaction from the white house. it is our lightning rounds, and we are back with the panel. steve? >> we thought once we were nice to everyone, they would listen to us, and they asked for house arrest of this man and did not get it. libya is scheduled to take over the presidency of the u.n. general assembly next week. the obama administration should fight them and made them in a public fight. >> i cannot agree more with what robert gibbs had to say. i do not know why people would have i herewith the united states. where is the outrage with the
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scottish government -- people would have ire with the united states? i do not know how this becomes the obama administration's problem. bret: because there is some influence here. >> yes, we have influence all over the world, but we do not tell the scottish or the british what to do. bret: charles? >> this is an outrage. there was a calculation. you know how much time this man spent for each of the murders he committed? 11 days in jail. and the rationale was that the terrorists should not have to die on foreign soil. well, the people he killed, particularly the 189 americans he killed, all died on foreign soil in a terrible way. bret: 4 homeland security adviser tom ridge has a book, and he writes that he was pressured to raise the nation's
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color-coded threat level on the eve of the 2004 election, but he refused. among the quotes in there, he said, "i wondered, is this about security or politics?" there are allegations that the tariff threat level was used for politics. let me make it very clear. i was never directed to do so, no matter how many analysts or pundits say so. he says in numerous times in the same book. back to the panel on this one. charles? >> under nonsense or in a trumped up charge. the only evidence here is "i wondered." whenever anything happens, you have a meeting of the principles. france's thousands, the coordinator in the white house on terrorism, -- francis townsend, was talking about the attacks threatened in america. of course, you are going to have disagreements in calling
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something as amorphous as a threat level. everyone is going to have an opinion, and there is no objective way of determining it. there is not a scintilla of evidence of pressure. it is a phony charge and a cheaper one. bret: juan? >> everyone here thinks the color-coded system, now in disgrace, was political, and so, in this situation, when he should have done was say whether he believes it or does not. he does not say that. >> it was stupid. i think tom ridge is especially susceptible to pressure. the other thing that is -- which was going to reveal how he was pressured to connect, and security to the international war on terror. those things were connected it from the beginning -- ridge was going to reveal it. bret: ok, plaxico burress, accepting a plea deal, a two-
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year sentence, for accidentally shooting himself in the fight -- butthigh in a new york nightclub -- shooting himself in the figh. -- thigh. >> there is one man that is getting a one-day suspension from the nfl. bret: juan? >> he will be under some kind of parole and supervision for this two-year period. i do not know when the nfl will let him back in, but i do not understand what you can kill a man, run him over when you are drunk, and only get 30 days in jail. that is something you should jump up and scream about. >> it is an outrage. i can see that you get two years for shooting somebody else in the leg, but shooting yourself? i would give him a target practice. bret: that is it for the panel,
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bret: finally tonight, we have talked about the problems the obama administration has had getting health-reform passed. >> the president has said, uh, uh, uh, uh -- [laughter] uh, uh, uh, and i, uh, it has been very constructive, and, we, uh, uh, -- in my current pursuits. bret: that is it for "special bret: that is it for "special